(Corvus corax). Patient Number 23-327 to 330.
Date of admission: March 31, 2023.
Reason for admission: Nest removed.
Common Ravens are the largest of all passerines or songbirds. They are not just large but massive, with a thick necks, shaggy throat feathers, and a thick knife-like beak. They are all black, including their legs, eyes, and beak, though in the sunlight they seem to have an iridescent shimmer. They're more slender than crows, with longer, narrower wings, and longer, thinner “fingers” at the wingtips, though overall they are roughly 1.5 times the size of the average crow. They can even weigh up to two kilos! The Common Raven is prolific throughout Canada, living in open and forest habitats across. This includes deciduous and evergreen forests up to treeline, as well as high desert, sea coast, sagebrush, tundra, and grasslands. Despite their name, these ravens definitely have more than just common intelligence. A study in Wyoming discovered that during hunting season, the sound of a gunshot draws ravens in to investigate a presumed carcass, whereas the birds ignore sounds that are just as loud but harmless, such as an air horn or a car door slamming. They are also capable of learning to mimic human voices and use tools.
Ravens are omnivorous. They may feed on practically anything, but a lot of their diet is animal matter, including a wide variety of insects, also rodents, lizards, frogs, eggs, and young of other birds. Grains, buds, berries, pet food, and many types of human food are also included in their diet. They typically forage in pairs.
Common ravens build their nests on cliffs, in trees, and on structures such as power-line towers, telephone poles, billboards, and bridges. Males bring some sticks to the nest, but most of the building is done by females. The whole process takes around 9 days, resulting in an often uneven nest that can be 5 feet across and 2 feet high. Nests are often reused and added to, although not necessarily by the same birds, from year to year. The female then lays 4 to 6 greenish, olive, and brown blotched eggs, and incubates them for about 18 to 21 days. During this time, the male feeds the female. When the young hatch, they are naked except for sparse tufts of grayish down, with their eyes closed. Both parents bring food for nestlings, and the young leave the nest about 5-6 weeks after hatching.
These raven nestlings were brought into care after their nest was found in an active construction zone. The parents had created a nest on a construction crane that was currently in use, and work could not be postponed to allow them to continue their natural process. The chicks are gaining weight well and getting more active and alert every day. We are working hard to rehabilitate these nestlings and it would not be possible without the support of donations. Thank you for supporting this group of raven nestlings in need.